Liz McCormick Published

House Makes Changes to Right-to-Work Bill


In the House Wednesday, Delegates made changes to the Right-to-Work bill, which will be up for a vote in the chamber Thursday.

Senate Bill 1 was on second reading in the House. This is the West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act, or more commonly known as Right-to-Work.

This bill would make it illegal for a company to fire someone who refuses to join a union or refuses to pay union fees or dues. Supporters say it protects the rights of workers who disagree with unions politically, but those who oppose it say if non-union employees in union workplaces no longer pay those fees, they’ll struggle to provide services like contract negotiations.

House Judiciary Chairman, Delegate John Shott of Mercer County proposed an amendment that changes some of the language in the senate’s version of the bill.

“The strike and insert basically replaces the Senate bill with a much simpler version of the Right-to-Work bill,” Shott explained, “It eliminates some administrative features, it eliminates some confusing language regarding a daily penalty; the continuation of the daily penalty, it clarifies the rights that an employee who is wrongfully terminated as a result of an employer’s action and forcing a person to join a union or not allowing a person to leave the union without being terminated. So it’s basically an overall clarification and simplification of the original version.”

The amendment passed, but not without obvious division along party lines. The Right-to-Work bill will be up for a final vote Thursday in the House.